Artillery is the generic name for either early two- or three-player (usually turn-based) computer games involving tanks fighting each other in combat or similar derivative games. Artillery games are among the earliest computer games developed; the theme of such games is an extension of the original uses of computer themselves, which were once used to calculate the trajectories of rockets and other related military-based calculations. Artillery games are a type of strategy game, though they have also been described as a "shooting game."
Early precursors to the modern artillery-type games were text-only games that simulated artillery entirely with input data values. A BASIC game known simply as Artillery was written by Mike Forman and was published in Creative Computing magazine in 1976. This seminal home computer version of the game was revised in 1977 by M. E. Lyon and Brian West and was known as War 3; War 3 was revised further in 1979 and published as Artillery-3. These early versions of turn-based tank combat games interpreted human-entered data such as the distance between the tanks, the velocity or "power" of the shot fired and the angle of the tanks' turrets.
One of the first most significant tank games was Scorched Earth for the PC; allowing multiple players and CPU controlled players to involve themselves in massive free-for-alls. A significant extension to the artillery genre came with Gravity Wars which extended the concept to a two dimensional gravity field around planets in space.